These 7 Indoor Plants for Low-Light Actually Thrive in Darkness

Updated 06/27/18
Indoor Plants for Low Light
Courtesy of Tali Roth

Not everyone has the luxury of living in a space that basks in natural light. When I first visited my East Village apartment, for instance, it was a dreary snowstorm day in Manhattan. While the apartment looked gloomy on a stormy day, I failed to realize that, even though it had the better view, the north-facing window would make it much darker than it's south-facing counterpart one floor up. Lesson learned. 

Over the last few months, I have learned how hard it is to keep indoor plants alive in a low-light environment. Finally, I turned to an expert for help. "When shopping for indoor plants for low light, it is key to get happy, healthy plants," Ali Glockler, head of indoor at Harrison Green told me. "Try to find a reliable vendor to buy your plants and find out the days they get deliveries. It's always best to get fresh plants rather than ones that have sat in a store and aren't cared for properly. When dealing with a low-light environment, avoid tropical plants at all costs. They need full sun and will not survive." 

Ahead, Glockler lists her favorite indoor plants for indoors along with handy tips to care for them.


The Sill Pothos Marble $47

"All varieties of pothos are extremely easy to care for. They require low light and could basically be kept in your closet. They're also great for people who forget to water regularly. Optimal care would be low light and water once a week. Let the soil dry out before watering."

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia

Greenery NYC Zamioculcas Zamifolia $245

"Zamioculcas Zamiifolia (ZZs for short) are your classic low-light plant and are super easy to care for. Water once a week and allow the soil to dry out between waterings."

Rubber Plant

Greenery NYC Rubber Plant $165

"Rubber plants have really beautiful foliage and are a low-light plant. They can also grow to have a unique shape and character. Water once a week and clean leaves monthly—large leaves collect dust and prevent the plant from absorbing the sun's UV rays."

Ficus Benjamina

Sunny Flower Dalat Ficus Benjamina $11

"One of the best for air purification, the Ficus Benjamina is very easy to care for and very hardy. You can get a small Benjamina or a huge one. They require watering once a week."

Peace Lily

Pretty in Green Plants Peace Lily $12

"Spathiphyllum (or peace lilies) come in all shapes and sizes. Some varieties even have a pretty white flower as a bonus. They are low light and very easy to care for. Water once a week, and wipe the leaves clean of any dust monthly. They can have large foliage, and it's important to keep them clean."


Greenery NYC Pilea Peperomioides $85

"Peperomia are all the rage these days. There are tons of varieties from the super-popular Pilea to the awesome watermelon peperomia. They all have very different foliage and colors. These prefer to be on the drier side as their leaves hold water similar to that of a succulent. Water once a week and allow the soil to dry out completely before watering next. Keep out of direct sun."

Wart Fern

The Sill Bird’s Nest Fern $49

"They are one of the hardiest ferns around—drought-resistant and ideal for low light. They provide unique foliage and a great deep green color. Water once a week and mist every two weeks for optimal care."

Next up: three desk plants that can survive a long weekend at the office.

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